The National Badminton League (NBL) returns tonight and Team GB’s very own Gail Emms believes the competition is doing great things to help boost the sport in Britain.
Emms, who turned out for Team Derby is the opening two fixtures, will be part of the Sky commentary outfit tonight as Birmingham Lions host University of Nottingham Badminton in Match Night 3.
Tickets for that fixture are still available here, but it’s a sell out in the second match as Loughborough Sport travel south to take on the Surrey Smashers.
Emms, who narrowly lost her doubles fixture on Match Night 1, believes competition has lived up to its billing and is doing great things in promoting badminton to a wider audience.
"I have loved it so far, the only thing I haven’t enjoyed has been my match results,” said Emms.
“But I really think the NBL has proved to be as exciting and thrilling as we first hoped and for all the young players involved this will give them some great experience to take forward and help their development.
“People should come and watch it if they have the chance – the atmosphere’s terrific with the crowds chanting, and the pace of the action is so fast. It’s definitely giving badminton a great boost in the UK.”
Emms won an Olympic silver medal at Athens 2004 alongside Nathan Robertson, an ambassador for the NBL, who believes the new rule changes are making for some eye-catching badminton.
"We are nearly half-way through the NBL fixtures and the shorter scoring system and unique rules, such as the PowerPlay double point, have made all the matches very exciting and much harder to call,” said Robertson.
"The fact that three of the four matches played so far have ended 3-2 shows how finely poised the games are in the NBL and I think it will get better and better as the season goes on.
“It's making badminton a real talking point in the UK and I would recommend people tune in or come and watch it live and see how fast it is."
Birmingham Lions v University of Nottingham Badminton will be live on Sky Sports 3 tonight. Tickets are still available with information on this and everything else NBL found here.